From new kid-based talent hunt shows like Sabse Bada Kalakar, Chhotey Miyan to launching of a Hindi GEC catering to children, showmakers and channels are experimenting with content and making it child-friendly. Sangeeta Yadav tells you more
With the launch of some new kid-based platforms featuring them on small screen and the fact that children and housewives contribute to a large TV viewing, channels are seeing a huge opportunity in making their content favouring their target audience. Sony Entertainment Television’sSabse Bada Kalakar brings children on a platform to will surprise you with their talent. Some will enact stories of saas-bahu drama, others will be seen donning popular characters like Basanti of Sholay.
These small wonders, some only four, will be mentored by the National School of Drama experts.
“I don’t want to call it judges’ chair. I feel lucky and blessed to be a part of Sabse Bada Kalakar. It is such a blessing to be sitting in front of these little wonders watching them perform with so much happiness and vigour. It is like having a day-off. Kids-based talent hunt shows are a wonderful opportunity for children to come and have an experience of a lifetime. It is not necessary that these children want to become actors in the future. It’s like being a part of an extra-curricular activity,” Boman Irani says, who is one of the judges of the show and is currently shooting for Dharma Production’s next adventure franchise titled Drive starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez.
Another talent-hunt show Chhotey Miyan made a comeback on Colors this year to hunt for the best child stand-up comedian. The show is being judged by Neha Dhupia and Sohail Khan.
As the Bollywood actors being roped in to judge the talent-hunt shows, Irani tells you that it’s a very responsible task that has been bestowed on them. “These children have Arshad Warsi, Raveena Tandon and me on the panel who are putting thoughts into their minds that will hold them in good. I am giving inputs to the children about their performance, how to better it and what are the areas that they can work on. They are very welcoming of the input and learning. With children, we have to choose our word carefully because you don’t want to demoralise them,” Irani tells you.
Even during the elimination rounds, the children are prepared to accept what is coming their way and how to accept it in good spirit. “We choose our words carefully. We say: ‘It will be great to see you next year.’ While giving a critic opinion, one should not be harsh. We don’t say: ‘I don’t like this or you did this wrong’. They need to be guided so that they can take our suggestions, work on it and come back on the stage as better performers. The best thing to do is to be upfront and straight. Kids take that well,” Irani says.
Grapevine has it that Star Plus is also going to start the auditions for Junior MasterChef Swaad Ke Ustad. Summer vacations are around the corner and Nickelodeon has planned a special line-up as well. They have been promoting home-grown content by launching Indian tales and new cartoon characters like Motu Patlu, Pakdam Pakdai and Shiva. The channel is set to launch its fourth animated investigative series —Gattu Battu which is slated to be released in May.
Sony Pictures Network India will be launching a new channel ‘Yay’ after Indian Premier League ends. The channel will have Tiger Shroff as the brand ambassador.
And it is not just the children and the parents who get to experience and learn a lesson. The judges too take back a lot from such platforms.
“I have formed a reasonable connect with the children and their mentors. The biggest take away from such shows is to understand when a child is performing, he is performing fearlessly. He is not worried about getting eliminated. He is out there trying to give his best. Sometimes as adults, we still perform under pressure and feel nervous on the stage. But since these children face it at such a young age, they become more confident, free and courageous. It’s more about understanding that they are learning something about a craft which they would not have learnt maybe either from their parents or teachers. Elimination is not what we should be concentrating on. These children have everything to gain and their parents, who come with a notion that their child should win, feels good when he sees his child bloom,” Irani say.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/show-time/make-way-for-little-kalakars.html).